Cyber Security for Small Businesses
Is Your Business Protected Against Cyber Criminals?
Whatever kind of business you are in, whether it’s multinational, medium-sized, or small scale, cyber security is an important issue that has to be dealt with properly. While cyber criminals may profit more from victimizing large businesses, it doesn’t mean that they will not target small businesses as well; especially because they might be thinking that a small-scale company will have looser security than a large-scale one. And in a lot of cases, they turn out to be right. Because for many small businesses, investing in cyber security is not a top priority. It’s time that mindset changes.
Why is cyber security important?
If you own a computer (and most of us do), you don’t want others indiscriminately using it and getting access to your private data and files.
Because that could open up a can of worms that can disrupt and possibly even destroy your life.
It’s pretty much the same with a business. When an unauthorized party gains access to your company data, make no mistake about it, all hell can break loose. Suddenly, everything about your company is in the hands of the hackers: your passwords, your financial data, your trade secrets, your policies and procedures, even your customer records. And you will be at their mercy.
They can choose to auction the information to the highest bidder. Or maybe, use it for their personal gains. For instance, they can steal your trade secrets and maybe your customer data and use those to compete directly with your business. They can even lock down your entire system, and then ask you to pay ransom. Or they can simply steal your funds and leave you bankrupt.
Whatever the case may be, being the victim of a cyber attack rarely ends up with no loss or damage being incurred. Financial loss is actually the easiest to recover from. But when it’s your reputation and credibility that’s affected, for instance, if the data breach resulted in customer private data being compromised, it’s going to take much more effort and maybe a lot more time to rebuild your reputation and regain your customers’ trust.
What should you do to protect your business from cyber attacks?
Here are our top five cyber security tips to help keep your business safe:
- Protect your network against all kinds of viruses, spyware and malware.
Ensure that all your computers are equipped with the necessary protection software configured to install updates automatically. Secure it further by setting up a firewall and encrypting information. And that goes for all electronic devices being used by your company, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
- Establish and strictly enforce security policies and procedures.
This doesn’t just involve your IT personnel. Everyone in your company should be trained on how to handle and protect information, especially sensitive and confidential data. Make sure everyone knows the consequences of violating your cyber security policies and hold them accountable for their mistakes.
- Set a budget for a regular security audit, and take the recommendations seriously.
Remember that it’s a waste of money, time, and effort to ask for an assessment if you don’t intend to implement remedial actions.
- Control access to your physical devices, including your servers and network components.
Don’t allow unauthorized personnel to use your computers. Keep your portable devices under lock and key when they aren’t being used to prevent theft. Provide a unique user account for each employee, require strong passwords, and recommend regular changing of passwords. And restrict administrative privileges to trusted IT personnel.
- Regularly backup all your data, and store copies on the cloud or an off-site storage.
Backing up your data is just overall a good idea. Computer hard drives break for no apparent reason, and it’s expensive to get that data back. How expensive? To the tune of a few thousand dollars.
iDoctor Offers Small Business IT Services
If you have a small business in Billings, and you think that IT services are something far outside of your budget, then we are glad you stopped by! Give us a call at 406-534-2547 or 406-206-3437 to learn more about how we can help improve your network, your cyber security, and make your business run smoother.